Last Saturday I gave a lecture at the International Center of Photography in New York about the Leaving Dakota project. It went pretty well, but there was this guy, right up front who I happened to be looking at when I started and maybe five minutes into it he blew this "Oh hell, I'm stuck with this jerk for the next forty minutes," sigh and looked down at the floor which freaked me out and I started talking faster. And the faster I talked the more bored he looked. Finally he started looking through his pockets for something to play with and spent a lot of time examining coins and bus tickets. I got fixated first on entertaining this one guy and then later on ending his agony. It was a little unsettling because I have this completely unsubstantiated but nonetheless pervasive belief that I can entertain anyone, look! I'll juggle if need be! -- Not true. I finished 15 minutes early. Next time I'm just going to stare into the projector so I can't see the looks on anyone's faces. Everybody else seemed to enjoy it and I spent some time talking to people about finding inspiration where you can and making the most out of what you've got.....
After that I went to see the Elliot Erwitt exhibit which was ... amazing. All the photos were blown up about four feet across and these shots from the 1950's were razor sharp and beautifully printed. (You can see a photo of his beautiful Leica M3 here, or at least those of you reading in late 2011 can -- those of you reading this in 2020 will probably get a dead link.) There's such mastery in the printing too, very careful dodging and burning, tremendous skill brought those images to paper.
Sunday I was supposed to photograph some of the remaining Tuskegee Airmen but a powerful storm prevented us from meeting, which is sad.
The Monte Verde pen I ordered from Art Brown showed up -- against my expectations it's a really smooth writer, I thought it was going to be fairly toothy but it's not. It's like writing on a warm frying pan with a pen carved out of butter.
Clickenzee to Embiggen!
In other, Crazier, retro news -- I like my G2 so much that I bought a bunch of Tri-X and a developing tank and I'll probably order a film scanner some time soon. I kind of hope it's a fad, because it's sure a pain in the rear to do photos this way. But it's so fun. Sort of. Actually I just wish it was digital.
Clickenzee to Embiggen!
I also saw a lecture on backup technologies for photographers which was very informative. I need to re-think my entire backup strategy. After the lecture I ordered a SATA dock and a couple of 2TB SATA drives -- This really seems to be the way to go, disks are only $75 or so which, when you think about it, is pretty cheap insurance for every image you've taken since 1999. It also got me to start using Apple's Time Machine and backing up my laptop. Previously I'd been keeping important stuff that I was working on with my laptop on MobileMe but one of the lessons of the lecture was "be in control of your bits" -- if me.com goes down, who knows how much Apple's going to care about getting them back.
You need to be constantly thinking "What will happen if my computer is stolen tonight. How much will I lose and how can I keep that from happening?"
That's about that. How's your Wednesday working? What did you learn this week that I ought to know about?
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